Saturday’s A66 football derby went Workington’s way against a Penrith AFC first team who are poised to learn whether their on-ice Northern League campaign can resume before Christmas.
The Blues’ competitive fixtures are currently on hold. However, Northern League officials may decide in the coming days that games can restart from next Saturday after the FA announced a limited return of home spectators in Tier 3 areas had been approved.
In Tier 2 Cumbria, meanwhile, Penrith welcomed back supporters last Tuesday when they hosted Carlisle City in the first of a two-legged warm-up duel to compete for the inaugural COVID Cup. The second leg takes place at City’s Gillford Park on Wednesday (7-30pm).
In between, Penrith yesterday travelled to Workington, who won 2-1 with Reuben Jerome scoring either side of half-time for the hosts before visiting striker Max Brown replied late on.
“It was great to be back and great to get another game under our belt,” said Penrith boss Dave “Dabba” Hewson, a former Workington player, coach and joint manager.
“It’s nice to come back to Workington and Borough Park. I’ve got lots of fond memories here so it was nice to see everyone. But I think it was a very worthwhile workout for the boys against a very, very good side.
“We knew exactly what to expect when we arrived here. We knew the type of football that they played and the quality they’ve got in the squad. I was really pleased with how our lads adapted to that, and responded, and worked really hard. We got lots out of the game.”
Before the game, Hewson – along with Eden-based Reds manager Danny Grainger – had the happy task of presenting home skipper Conor Tinnion with a commemorative shirt to mark his 300th appearance for the Borough Park men.
Tinnion, who had spent a brief spell at Penrith under manager Matt Henney, told Workington’s website of the presentation: “It was a really nice touch to have Dabba there. He’s played a big role in my career, as has Danny over the last year or so, which made it extra sweet.”
Grainger, who described Tinnion as “a credit to himself”, told the Herald after the match: “I’ve got a great relationship with Billy (Williams, Penrith chairman) and Dabba. It’s something that we want to try and keep building on.
“I think it’s important for all the local teams to help each other out as much as possible. We’re all up at the top end of nowhere, should we say, when we’re looking for friendly games.
“It’s great to get a competitive match and it was a competitive game, and it’s something we have to work on, and build on, and hopefully keep building our relationships and make sure it benefits both clubs.”
If Northern League action does return before Christmas, Penrith are due to host Thornaby at the Atkinson Building Contractors Stadium next Saturday.